From Thai food that packs a punch to cocktails with a cheeky kick – and the tastiest sandwiches in town – this month is all about making a big impression, so prepare your taste buds Hong Kong, because they’re about to ignite.
New Thai Restaurant: My Tai Tai
Trying out a new restaurant is like embarking on an interesting – and often unpredictable – adventure, and a visit to My Tai Tai, the second of chef Harlan Goldstein’s four new dining concepts nestled in 8 Lyndhurst Terrace, is certainly no exception. Bursting with authentic dishes from northern Thailand, this brightly-coloured, modern, and exotic eatery covers the full flavour spectrum with a few bumps in the road along the way. If you like Thai dishes that pack a spicy punch, then you’ll love it here.
We started with the Original Thai Green Papaya Salad, Dried Shrimp, Peanut, Garlic, Chilli, Lime and Tamarind Sauce ($128) which, unlike several unbearably spicy ones I’ve tried before, was surprisingly light and easy on the taste buds. Next up were the Barbecue Marinated Organic Chicken Skewers, Peanut Miso and Picked Cucumber ($24 per piece) which were deliciously tender and went down a treat with the rich miso peanut sauce.
However, I could only handle a few mouthfuls of the Issan Style Pork Neck Salad, Shallots, Coriander, Mint, Thai Herbs, Sticky Rice Tossed with Lime and Chilli ($128) which left my mouth numb and screaming for a refreshing cocktail. Luckily, the signature Hey What’s Your Name ($118) combo of rum, kaffir and lime cordial, and citrus, and the frothy Pineapple Express ($118) blend of ocho blanco, pineapple and almond cordial, lime, and egg white, provided some cooling relief for my taste buds.
While the red and green curries were pleasing, there were three clear winners on the menu, which swayed more towards the sweet and sour end of the flavour spectrum. The Sweet & Sour Seafood Soup, River Prawn, Lime Leaf, Chilli ($148) was devilishly moreish and a delight to eat – despite having me defeated by numb mouth before I could reach the bottom of the bowl. The chef’s signature Slow Cooked and Roasted Marinated Chicken, Isaan Style Sweet Chilli Sauce, Sticky Rice ($328 for 2-3 servings) was perfectly tender and bursting with a mix of beautifully blended spices. And finally, the Baked King Prawn, Glass-Noodles, Pork Belly, Crispy Garlic, Soya Jus, served in a Clay Pot ($248) was a crowd-pleaser, largely due to the tangy flavours and soft texture of the noodles, and the soft, juicy cloves of garlic that burst apart in the mouth.
And of course, the Mango Sticky Rice ($98) provided a much-needed sweet ending to our spicy feast. The juicy ripe mango and perfectly heated rice is a must order if you decide to embark on your own culinary adventure here – just make sure you have a cold beer of cocktail on hand before you tuck in!
My Tai Tai, 2/F, 8 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, (+852) 2896 6018
“Rediscovering a Lost Paradise” at Ohana
Summer may be over, but Ohana Tiki Bar is still rocking the tropical vibe with the addition of 25 new island-inspired cocktails and food as part of its “Rediscovering a Lost Paradise” menu.
On the sweet and light side, the Crystal Clear Sangria ($130) is deliciously refreshing with a zesty green apple liquer and chardonnay kick, while the Kanalua ($130) – named after a famous volcano in Hawaii – is a must try for those who love a fruity cocktails that packs a punch – the combo of coconut tequiula, cherry liqueur, pineapple juice, and lime juice is dangerously addictive. The king of the cocktails, however, has to be playful and rustic El Segunda Vida ($120) – meaning “second life” – a blend of Bacardi, apple juice, peanut butter, coconut milk, and banana puree, served in a vintage coconut milk can.
Pair this up with a slice of two of Tahitian or Criolla Pizza (both $170), some Red Dip (beetroot, chickpea, and garlic), or a Korean Spicy Poke (choose any three for $200), and you’ll feel a million miles away from the urban jungle.
Keeping up the summer vibe are two new drinks deals worth checking out. Wave goodbye to the Monday blues on Tiki Lucky Mondays where you have the opportunity to bag yourself a cocktail for just $5! All you have to do is pick a token out of the tiki bag, and face the fate of your tab – $5, $20, $50, or $70 per drink. Or head down there for 3pm and make the most of the Sunset Hours when cocktails, house spirits, wines, and beers are just $50 a pop, with a portion of chips and dips alongside.
Ohana Tiki Lounge, 29/F, QRE Plaza, 202 Queens Road East, Wan Chai, (+852) 2488 8750
“The Ultimate Sandwich” Showcase
You can’t beat a big, juicy “sarnie”, and now we have eight to choose from, as Hong Kong’s top restaurants and delis are showcasing their finest versions in a bid to win the “Ultimate Sandwich Hong Kong” award. From September 12 to October 10, hungry Hong Kongers can tuck into limited edition sarnies from Second Draft, Bread & Beast, Beef & Liberty, Jinjuu, Knead, Mrs. Pound, Posto Pubblico, and (our personal fave) Morty’s Delicatessen. Tempura shrimp, sirloin steak, glazed roast beef, crispy shallots, fried egg, and smoked pastrami are among the many fillings gracing the sandwich menu this month, with prices ranging from $78 to $190 a pop. The restaurant that sells the most sandwiches will win the coveted award – so who’s it gonna be?
Beef & Liberty, 3/F, California Tower, 32 D’Aguilar Street, LKF, (+852) 2450 5778
Bread & Beast, 3 Swatow Street, Wanchai, (+852) 2237 1868
Jinjuu, UG/F, California Tower, 32 D’Aguilar Street, LKF, (+852) 3755 4868
Knead, 28 Jervois Street, Sheung Wan, (+852) 2851 7778
Morty’s Delicatessen, Shop 2–14, LG/F, Jardine House, 1 Connaught Place, Central, (+852) 2665 0900
Mrs. Pound, 6 Pound Lane, Sheung Wan, (+852) 3426 3949
Posto Pubblico, 28 Elgin Street, Soho, (+852) 2577 7160
Second Draft, 98 Tung Lo Wan Road, Tai Hang, (+852) 2656 0232